A review of Plks: Thinking outside the (polo) box

Julianna Korns, Xiaoqi Liu, Vinita Takiar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The polo-like kinase (Plk) family is comprised of five different members (Plk1–5), each with their own distinct functions. Plk family members participate in pivotal cell division processes as well as in non-mitotic roles. Importantly, Plk expression has been correlated with various disease states, including cancer. Multiples therapies, which primarily target Plk1, are currently being investigated alone or in combination with other agents for clinical use in different cancers. As the role of Plks in disease progression becomes more prominent, it is important to outline their functions as cell cycle regulators and more. This review summarizes the structure and both mitotic and non-mitotic functions of each of the five Plk family members, sequentially. Additionally, the proposed mechanisms for how Plks contribute to tumorigenesis and the therapeutics currently under investigation are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-263
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
V.T. is supported, in part, by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service (IK2 BX004360).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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